Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #3

Thirteen Things about my girls

1. They are the cutest, prettiest girls in the world.
2. Olivia loves to read books to Ava and Ava sits and claps at all the right parts.
3. Each has their own personality and both personalities get along.
4. They love each other.
5. Both girls have special lovies that they sleep with at night.
6. Both girls suck their thumbs.
7. Each one of them looks like one of us...Ava and I look alike, Dave and Olivia look alike.
8. Both girls have a laugh so infectious that they make us laugh.
9. Both girls love to dance and sing along to their favorite Dora cartoon.
10. Both girls wake up from their nap asking for the other one.
11. Both girls can swim well and love the water.
12. Both girls love to go for car rides and watch movies while doing so.
13. Ava likes to sniff people and Olivia likes to lick people's noses. Weird.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More Weight Gain...What Happened???

Ok so I know what happened. I am really good Monday through Friday afternoon at sticking to my diet and then Friday night happens and it's over. I get this kooky idea that Friday night I deserve to eat what I want because I did so well the rest of the week. In theory that might work if I didn't get the same kooky idea on Saturday and Sunday.

Monday morning I stepped on the scale and was 7 pounds heavier than I was the week before. 7 pounds in a week. Good God what did I eat...let me think. Well there was some pizza, some wine, candy, the jumbo sized slurpee, gee I really don't know how I could have packed on all that weight.

My saving grace was that Dave packed on 7 pounds as well. At least we do it together so I don't have to feel like a fatty all by myself. But after explaining to him that I seriously have to watch my diet and work out he brought home donuts. What the hell? I am not eating those donuts! He said it was his incentive for working out. He'd eat a donut after dinner and then he'd want to work out. So the short version of that was when 9 PM rolled around and he hadn't worked out he said it was too late and he'd do it tomorrow. Yeah... ok.

Today I am down 3 of those 7 pounds. I did jog for thirty minutes yesterday but I need to pick up the pace and jog at least 3 miles. So far I do a little over 2 miles. I have been jogging 4 days a week but I'd like to jog six days if possible. This weekend I am going to try resist temptation too. We'll see how that goes later.

This is an addendum to earlier. I jogged today for 30 minutes and had hit 2 miles at around 27 1/2 minutes. I'm getting better at 10 second increments at a time.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Manic Monday

Photo by: The Jannaverse

September 2004 we had planned on getting married in Grand Cayman until the STORM hit which later became a hurricane and wrecked havoc on the island. Grand Cayman was without water and electricity for a very long time.

Shortly thereafter, the STORM known as Hurricane Katrina, made it's way to New Orleans and wrecked havoc again. Many people lost everything, as well their lives. My brother-in-law lost his house.

In December we made our way to Maui and were married. The sun was high in the sky and there wasn't a cloud anywhere. We were married on the beach. We had hula dancers and a fire dancer and thankfully not a STORM anywhere around.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bowling For Pizza

Today was super fantastic. We went to Harvest Park Bowl for our neighbor kid's birthday party. It was great. The lanes were paid for for 1 1/2 hours of free bowling. There was pizza and cake and all you could drink soda. Oh it was great. We set the girls up at a table with our other awesome neighbors D&B. We all ate our pizza while taking turns bowling. Olivia rocked! She really rocked!

So the order went like this: first Dave, then Olivia, then me, then neighbor D, then neighbor B. Ok so neighbor B wasn't there for a lot of it so neighbor D bowled for B but it all worked out the same. We bowled for at least an hour, all of which Ava ate pizza, apples, blueberries, and more pizza. Olivia was smashing the ball down the lanes. It was way cool.

Then it was time for the cake and the birthday song. We sang and ate some cupcakes. Ava was covered in food. She's so cool. She's also the most awesomest baby in the whole wide world but you know I'm just the bragging mommy. Olivia was still smashing the ball down the lanes. She too was covered in frosting and didn't even notice or care. The whole way to the bowling alley all she could talk about was how she was going to be eating cake.... and she did just that! I took a bunch of amazing photos that will be posted for Wordless Wednesday.

I can honestly say it was some of the most fun I've had in a long time with my kids. Olivia had an amazing push that knocked down 9 of the 10 pins on average. Ava finished eating and ran out to the lane, did a little flash dance, and push a ball down the lane too. She was so excited and happy to participate. It was cool. Have I stated that too much? If not- it was cooool!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


The girls napped for 3 hours today. Oh what I relief. It gave us time to mow and weed eat the lawn, fix some drawers that needed to be re-childproofed, fix the two windows that had broken locks on them since we purchased this house a few yeas ago...We even had time to stop, relax, and breathe for a moment without the chanting of, "mommy-daddy, daddy-mommy".

Nap time is wonderful. Dave and I had a long conversation with one of our favorite neighbors. We relaxed without having to ask Olivia to stay in the driveway and out of the street. It may have only been 3 short hours but it was the equivalent of a dead battery being fully recharged. When the girls woke up we were ready for them. The best part of the whole day was that both girls woke up in a great space, were totally loving an affectionate and I swear- they didn't cry, whine, or moan, for anything the entire night. At bed time Olivia asked to nuggie for "one minute" as she says. Dave obliged and at the end of her cartoon she said, "bedtime daddy". What???? Who is this girl and where is my Olivia? Is this the same fit throwing, tantrum having, toddler just last week that I was bitching about that wouldn't let Dave put her to bed without a fight?

Yes. It is. We have turned yet another page in the Miss Olivia book. Part of me thinks...good god what does she have in store for us now and the other part of me thinks...I really enjoy this sweet, adorable little girl.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday's Lesson For The Day...

Swim diapers are called swim diapers for a reason. They are not meant to be worn anywhere but in the pool. This means they are not to be worn in the car on the way to the pool either. Why is that not written on the package?

I have learned this lesson all too well when we arrived at the pool to find that Olivia was all ready swimming in her car seat. Our 20 minute ride home after an hour of the hot sun beating its way into our car was like a visit from the fresh pee factory. Oh the glorious and stinky pee. How wonderful. Damn those jerks for not putting a warning label on their product.

Oh, the swim diaper is also not meant to be worn at night either. The babysitter put Ava down to bed and apparently she had pooped the big one, so the sitter changed her and reached into the closet and grabbed the wrong diapers. Weird since it looked nothing like the previous one Ava was wearing, but hey it's ok. She was trying to do good. So we come home and at 2 AM Ava starts howling. Apparently she was having her own wet t-shirt contest. When I undress her I find that damn swim diaper has gotten me again. Lucky bastards. Those diapers now reside far from all the other diapers so that they can't fool me again.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Proposal

4 years ago today at 4:27 PM, my husband proposed. It seems like only yesterday. We lived in a small apartment on the beach. He got down on one knee and proposed in the kitchen. Now 4 years, two kids, a house, and a lot of debt later we're still cookin'.

Thursday Thirteen ~ 2nd Edition

Thirteen Things That Should Be Included In The Baby Handbook

1. When you're pregnant and excited to buy all those cool toys you think your baby will just have to have, don't by them. In a year your house will be cluttered with toys from other people who think your baby needed those toys too. Save your money and buy yourself some sanity. You can actually use that later.

2. When potty training your kids don't ever take the little potty filled with poop and dump it into the garbage disposal. You'll end up getting some rather interesting looks from your mother-in-law and have to explain that it is never a good idea to eat anything that falls into your sink.

3. When your kids learn to take take their diapers off and begin to smear crap all over their cribs- don't waste your time with the duct tape. Your kids will look like they are ready to be mailed to the North Pole and you'll receive offensive looks from your friends who don't have kids. Instead buy a footed pj one size too big and put it on the toddler backwards. They can't reach the zipper and you never have to worry about finding them naked in bed again.

4. If you want baby momentos such as the stump of umblical cord that falls off a few weeks after birth, tape it immediately into the baby book, don't put in on the nightstand unless you want to find your dog eating it. How's that for a memory!

5. When your kids can feed themselves, put them in their highchair in their diaper (clothes removed) so that their food can get everywhere and you can get them dressed afterwards without having to spray their clothes with stain remover. Saves time, money, and sanity.

6. Kids seem to eat anything that looks like a cupcake. If there's certain veggies your kids don't like, shred them, and bake them in muffins.

7. When traveling with your kids, a DVD player in car can make any trip better. I bought one that plays one movie on two screens. It has made life in the car wonderful.

8. This one works for my kids but may not be the solution for everyone. If you want to bathe with your babies but would rather not be sitting in their pee try putting them in the tub first, spray their feet with a little cold water, typically my kids then go pee, I wash it down the drain and fill up the tub with warm water. There's still a good chance they may pee again, but at least it won't be as much as when they peed the first time.

9. Be careful what you feed your kids or they could poop blue.

10. When you're pregnant and eating for two, that actually means one woman and baby, not two sumo wrestlers....unless you want to keep the extra weight for the winter. I gained 65 lbs. with each pregnancy. It was hard by the end to make it up stairs.

11. If you started out flat-chested, nursing will not make your boobs bigger forever, it's only temporary and sad when you're done that they are even smaller. I'd never trade in breastfeeding though. It was the best bonding experience ever.

12. Dad's are not 'babysitting' if the mom is out of the house. They are parents. They are parenting. Often times I hear dad's say this and I ask them, "oh I pay my sitter $7.oo an hour- what's your rate?"

13. If you can't get your kids to eat vegetables such as carrots, put them through the juicer and make popsicles. Lots of things taste good frozen...yogurt, bananas... If you've made it to the bottom of this post, thanks for reading and happy TT.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

2 kids or 3

I think I've finally made up my mind about having a third child. Olivia and Ava are so close in age and are best little buddies. I think if we had a third that child would always be trying to catch up. Also one less means more time for these two. I'll probably change my mind again tomorrow but for today I'm done. I think Dave was done a few months ago, so this should be good news for him.

Monday, July 21, 2008

One Poop, Two Poop, Three Poop, Blue Poop???

Never in my life did I think I would see blue poop. But it does actually exist out there in children everywhere.

Olivia exclaimed in delight, "Mommy poopie. I need to make a turd!" Yes, thank you David for introduced our sweet daughter to the word turd. I get to hear that every day now. She sat on the potty and pooped. I wiped her and noticed that the paper was blue. That seemed awfully strange so I look deep in the bowl and there it was- the big blue monster.. What the hell? I called the sitter who had been over in the morning. As I started telling her what happened I began to open Ava's diaper....

Wow!!! Now that was gross. Blue poop everywhere. It stained her skin. I started remembering back to what they ate yesterday...what could they have eaten that was blue? Oh yeah, I had given them some fruit snacks after their nap. Huh. Tomorrow we'll be eating an apple.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Manic Monday

I think these speak for themselves....

Nothing can clean a baby better than a good lick from the dog!

Are Your Kids Orange?

This is Ava. She loves her food.

This is Olivia. She loves her food too AND can keep a bib on.

Tonight's dinner was spaghetti. Not the best option when I am alone with the girls for the evening... It took a little longer to clean than I wanted it too but their funny faces and full guts are totally worth it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Going To The Dentist... IN HEAVEN

Dave and I picked our dentist for all the wrong but wonderful reasons- the perks!! I received a flier three years ago in the mail that claimed 'for all new patients' ...hey that's us!!!

We just had moved and bought our first house 40 miles away from our last shindig. We had to say goodbye to all the medical offices we had once to known in seek of greener pastures. And let me just say that we hit the jackpot. Now you're probably thinking- how could finding a dentist be like hitting the jackpot right? Easy. This one has massage chairs, a DVD player, they are open on Saturdays, and you get free teeth whitening for life. Honestly, we could have cared less if they were the BBB's top 10 of poorly practiced businesses. We just wanted the free whitening- FOR LIFE. Cool. Way cool.

So I moved into this house breastfeeding Olivia, and then shortly thereafter became pregnant again, then nursed Ava for a year, so I wasn't able to start my whitening project until about six months ago. The super cool part was that the dentist kept giving me the gel anyway. Wahoo!!

Today being Saturday we had our six month appointment. We took the kids and planned our appointments back to back so someone stayed with them while the other was IN HEAVEN. Well I sat in the chair first so Dave took the kids to the hardware store and made a return. My appointment went spectacular, my teeth looked good she said, and I felt massaged. So Dave's turn comes and I took the girls for a walk. What did we ice cream parlor. It was 10:58 am. Do I dare take them for ice cream before noon and lunch? Sure why not. You only live once right?

Olivia threw the door open greeting the nice ice cream man. I ordered them 2 cake flavored ice creams on 2 nice big cones. If only I had my camera. Two little girls and ice cream can make a huge sticky mess. Ava snarfed hers as usual not allowing me to help her in any way and snapping at me if she even thought I might to eat some. Olivia daintily sat on her chair eating one lick at a time. They were IN HEAVEN.

All we needed was for Dave to finish up and we were on the fast track home. Out of the office comes a sullen face and three cavities. The heaven bubble had popped.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday's Lesson for the day...Balance

I started this blog with the intent of it being a tribute to my daughters. As I began writing each entry I realized how cool it will be when the girls have grown up and they can read this and know that not only did I love them immensely but that they also have a day-by-day synopsis of their lives.

As the entries rolled on and I visited other blogs I came across many awesome blog designs. Being a newbie at this, I used the basic design but I have come to see the error in my ways. I will be updating my template over the next few weeks to a design that more reflects my girls and I and the message I want to promote.

Ok so the important point is over the next few weeks... I have a hard time with illustrating patience and waiting. When I begin something, I like to dive right in and finish it. Now that we have the girls I can't just stop everything and research templates like I would like too. The girls' needs come first and I am happy with that. I don't want to miss anything humorous, challenging, loving, or off the wall nuts that they might do.

So my lesson today is about the balance of being mom and being me. Today while I blogged both girls sat in chairs next to me and colored. When mommy gets computer time, everyone gets an art project. Olivia loved the idea of playing "working" by mommy and made some wonderfully colorful pieces for Dave to take to work.. Ava snacked on the paper and watched the turtles swim. We all got to enjoy ourselves in different ways and be together. Balance. Balance. Balance.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen- 1st Edition

Thirteen Things about my dog...

1. She has a pretty face and good breath for a dog.

2. She's loving and sweet to my kids.

3. She is truly my first dog that I raised from puppyhood.

4. She loves to lick our cat's face and eat her eye boogers.

5. She eats my kids boogers too. Why spend money on tissue?

6. She provides mood music with her snoring when we have sex.

7. She is always ready to play.

8. She can do some tricks for treats.

9. When we take her for a ride in the car and we cross a bridge- she ducts down.

10. She loves the smell of poop. It makes it easy to know when Ava needs to be changed.

11. She lays on the leather couch we when leave the house.

12. She loves peanut butter.

13. Her name is Lady.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Ava can make any day spectacular.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wordless Wednesday ~ Relax

Weighing In...

Have you ever noticed when you shop for a scale there's all ready someone else in that department looking for one. You really want to take a scale off the shelf and test it out, one- to see how it works and the great new features it has that yours at home doesn't, two- to see if it actually weighs you less than the scale you all ready own, which if it does it will be the scale you ultimately end up buying, and three- to feel how it compares to the others sitting near by.

But alas, you are not alone in this aisle. You think of ways to get around this other person without them seeing your weight or your reaction to your weight. So you grab a few (like you're really going to by them all), meander over to yet another section of the store and test them out. Sometimes this ends in joyous applauds and sometimes it ends in statements like this, "this stupid thing doesn't work either". Which ever way it works out- you are not alone. I too suffer from the weigh in.

Monday, July 14, 2008

In my opinion...Just venting...

It's really frustrating when I need to get things done and I have such a short amount of time to do it in. Ava has this amazing buzzer in her butt that goes off after she'd napped for 2 hours. It's usually never 2 1/2 hours or 2 hours and 5 minutes. It's typically a 2 hour nap and my window of opportunity to get my stuff done. So she's not the issue, it's actually Olivia who has decided to fight with my husband every day and night he lays her down. Because of this break in her routine, when he's goes back to work she thinks it's ok to play around at nap time. If she doesn't nap, I can't work, work-out, or do anything that isn't upstairs. Otherwise she'll bang around in there until she wakes the baby.

The past few minutes I have been doing some computer work to buy time for Olivia to fall asleep so that I know for sure I can work-out...yes my ass is getting bigger by the millisecond. I hear some rattling around and check in on her and she has annihilated her room. I feel like a big bad bitch because now I have to go in there and tell her that she will be going to take a nap and she won't be able to cook dinner with me. Nevertheless 45 of my 120 minutes have successfully ticked away while I dealt with her. In another 20 minutes I won't have the opportunity to work out anymore because right in the middle of my jog, Ava's timer will go off.

On top of this, I'm irritated that my husband has let this situation between he and Olivia escalate. Instead of being firm with her he let's her get her way and come see mommy if that's what she wants. I want to be left alone when I'm in the shower. I don't want to be washing the shampoo out of my eyes and then to open them to see the two of them standing there saying goodnight again. When he's home and in charge of them, it should be like I'm not there. The stay at home parent needs a break from the, "mommy mommy mommy or daddy daddy daddy" however it works in your house. And the other parent needs to be able to see that and deal as if we are not at home and use the structure that has been previously established.

Now that I have ungracefully gotten that out of my system, I am going to check on Olivia who I believe is now asleep. I have 63 minutes left on my clock and counting. Here goes nothing...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Naked Swimming Babies

Ava woke up from her nap with puffy eyes, her sweet chubby little smile, and her finger pointing straight at the bobbleheads my husband has been collecting for years. "Bobble, bobble" she tells me. It is so cute that every time we pass these things it's like she is seeing them for the first time. She becomes so excited grabbing her head and shaking her body.

I told her that we were heading outside to see her daddy and to go swimming when "she she" woke up. Shortly thereafter a neighbor arrived and everyone sat down to chat, and then his wife came over and Liv woke up so we made our way to the backyard so the girls could play. Ava jumped into the baby pool clothes and all. Her diaper looked like it weighed a good fifteen pounds. Olivia decided to get in the pool naked. She was laughing and playing and splashing everybody. Our pizza man came by too. It was great to sit in the yard and enjoy it a little without having to be working in it.

Ava dipped her pizza in the pool a few times, still ate it of course... Olivia thought it looked like a winning idea and soaked her pizza too. The dog ran around and cleaned the crumbs. It was a relaxing enjoyable Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My Gentle Giant

My Ava has earned the name Avacakes since she turned the mark at one. She was born with chunky dimply cheeks and a round little body that pretty much stayed the same until she stopped breasting at at year. Ava was adamant about not receiving milk from a bottle, cup, or any other feeding source but me. She puked breast milk out through her nose if I tried to sneak it in during a feed so someone other than myself could feed her. She's a smart one... She knew what was happening, and would invoke an ear piercing yell to announce to us and the rest of our neighbors that our actions were truly uncalled for and were not allowed ever again.

I called the doctor several times over the next few months to get advice and make sure she wasn't being deprived from any certain vitamins but he seemed to think that if I fed her plenty of cheese and dairy she would be just fine. This was easy since Ava loved anything dairy, so I made sure she ate plenty of yogurt, cottage cheese, string cheese... the typical baby dairy items. It did not take long for my round little baby to become plump and juicy and acquire the title, "Avacakes".

So yes she's healthy, big boned, alotta love, squishy, and non the less very happy. She fits in the 4T clothing I buy for Olivia. When friends visit who haven't seen her in awhile they gush over her telling me how they just love round full babies. When I look at her I think how wonderful it must be to be a baby and to be free from all of the societal pressure to be thin. She's beautiful with her little rolls under her butt, and her second chin, and her darling little dimples on her cheeks. She may be huge but she is my gentle giant.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday's Lesson For The Day...

Today I asked my sweet daughter to be quiet for a few minutes because Mommy had to poop. Yeah Mommies poop, just like bears in the woods, and dogs at the park. Anyhow, Olivia whispered softly, "ok mommy make a poop." Just as I was getting ready to stand back up violent screaming ensued. Olivia had been bitten by Ava.

For the last two days the little fanged Ava has used her chompers to take a few really good bites out of Olivia's hand. There hasn't been any blood thank god but there has been a lot of screaming, tears, and requests that the baby takes a time-out.

Realizing that a quiet peaceful zip-up of my pants was not going to happen, I went to the crime scene, did a swift peak at the wound- not too deep- and wrangled Ava for her time-out. I don't even think she gets the idea of these time-outs but Olivia knows that if someone breaks the rules they get punished and she was going to make sure that her sister did her appropriately deserved time-out. Anyway, I sat Ava down and proceeded to explain to her that biting is not ok, it hurts people, and she needs to use her words instead of her teeth. Meanwhile, Olivia is standing in front of her waiting for the signal to give the 1-5 countdown with her finger just waiting to wag. Gee where'd she get that from? Must be something her father does...yeah that's it.

Soon the two were on their way to playful bliss as I thought back about a conversation I had with Dave regarding taking a dump. I clearly remember saying to him, "when you are at work and you have to shit- you shit and no one bothers you. When I'm at home with the kids and I have to shit I have to make an appointment, call a sitter, and get clearance." So the lesson for today is: when you have to shit- bring earplugs.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wacky chocolate mess

How can such a small chocolate chip make such a huge mess on a one year old little body? I went upstairs to find Ava her shirt, as I had dressed her in Olivia's identical shirt but just had not realized it every time I wondered why Ava was taking it off, and on my way back downstairs I discovered my normally lily white angel, smeared with a chocolate trail from front to back.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Would you like some fried chicken with that?

My husband loves fried chicken. Today I decided I'd try to make it again and see if I could get the batter to stay on. This time I used the Japanese breadcrumbs that I normally use for crabcakes. Oh my God. The chicken turned out beautifully fantastic. Dave came home, saw his favorite dish, mouth watering, eyes fixated, and I knew right there- he's gonna wanna do the naughty tonight. For some reason he associates sex and chicken to be one in the same. Not any old chicken fills this quota though. It must be fried chicken- not necessarly made by me either. Just good old fashioned fried chicken.

As we eat dinner, Ava is drenched in her nightly ketchup dip and Olivia is requesting, "get more daddy mommy, mommy daddy..." For some reason Olivia started calling us both names, maybe to see which one of us will respond. It's been going on about a year now and I am usually called "daddymommy" most of the day.

Anyway, I look over at Dave and he gives me the smile/wink rwalll sound and says, "sex and chicken". This post might be late tonight. We will see how quickly we can get the girls to bed.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Pancake on a stick?

Today Dave went off to work and the girls and I slept in until 9am. It felt extremely wonderful to sleep past 7am. We got up, dressed, and headed downstairs to only find out that duh- we don't have any fruit or veggies. So I asked the girls if anyone wanted a pancake on a stick. Olivia replied, "No mommy. I want popagottle."

Ok so I said that her vocabulary is booming. Maybe I forgot to mention most of it is not recognizable to anyone but me. Olivia wanted a popsicle and Ava snarfed down her pancake on a stick.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Weekend Recap

Whew. 4th of July weekend was a long a weekend. We headed North to visit my parent's house and swim in their pool. The sun was a scorcher, the water was warm, and the Corona's were flowing. It was in fact the perfect weekend.

My parents had gone out of town so we brought along some friends. They have two kids, 10 & 4 months. It was nice having them around. The 10 year old spent the first entire day in the pool. 9 hours to be exact. The baby was cute too. She has begun lifting her head, rolling over, eating rice cereal, staying awake longer, you know all the cute stuff babies do. It was nice having a baby around again. Yes, it does bring up the idea of a third child for us, but it also makes me really appreciate where Olivia and Ava are in their lives. Olivia is so tall and her vocabulary is booming. Ava can dress herself (in Olivia's clothes of course), her growing vocabulary blows me away, her attention span is expanding, and her sweet calm nature is just rockin. I love these two little gals so much.

Anyway we left on Thursday and returned on Monday to a hot house of 91 degrees. We walked through the door and our hair became matted to our faces, our cheeks reddened, and our thirst for a Slurpee increased. I cranked on the AC and Dave shot to the minimart and by nightfall the house temperature had dropped to 84 degrees. Much better.

Heading Home

It's always sad to leave your favorite vacation spot but as with all good things it must come to an end sometime. Our friends left this morning to visit some places along the way home. We stayed to swim one last time, eat lunch, shower, and hopefully put the girls in the car for their nap. We are officially packed and ready to be heading home.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Suddenly Sunday....

Olivia has finally worn herself out and has suddenly fallen asleep on the couch next to Dave. She has been refusing to nap since we arrived and today we both said forget it. Just let her stay up so we can put her to bed at a reasonable time with less screaming.. Ironically today she puts herself down for her own nap.. Suddenly Sunday.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The swimming Pool

Oh the glorious swimming pool! We woke up today at 6:30 am and by 7am we were in the pool. Ava and Olivia were both wearing swimming floats that are similar to lifejackets except for the fact that they don't save lives. The floats aer designed to add a little extra bouyance to allow the child to learn to swim.

Ava watched Olivia swim around in circles yelling, "look mommy I swim in ovals" and thought she should be free to swim in the pool all by herself too. That wasn't happening so of course she wanted daddy because mean old mommy wasn't giving in. Ava loved the water. She played a lot at the stairs and could grab the wall and walk along it. She really loved to roll over on her back and float and kick her feet.

After an hour and a half we all meandered out of the pool and back into the house for some cinamon crumb cake muffins and milk.

Now we sit and wait patiently for our friends to arrive..

Friday, July 4, 2008

Time to party

I love the fireworks at night in small towns. The skies are always so clear and the fireworks come alive. Every year Olivia has seen the fireworks at a baseball game. This will be Ava's first year. I hope she is not frightened by the booms and cracks as the fire shoots up into the sky. I think she will enjoy it. We will know tonight.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Packing up...

Leaving for the 4th tomorrow. Dave's at work and the girls are running crazy all throughout the house. I know that they have a keen sense as to when I need time to get things done around the house so they pick those moments to chase each other and push each other down. Whatever it takes to break my momentum and bring me back to them with my full attention.

A friend of mine has a son and wants to have another child as a single mother. It is at these times of frustration that I hold the phone in my hand ready to call her and say, "Really? Are you sure about that? Another kid? Whew. A lot of work and you'd be by yourself..." But then the moment passes and the girls say something endearing like Olivia's, "Mommy Ida Boe" (peek-a-boo) or Ava's, "NONONONONONONO sheshe" (No sissy).

So far we are almost completely packed. The house is cleaned and sheets are washed. Everyone is over the flu. Hello vacation!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Making Progress

I love watching Olivia grow up. Every day she understands more and can express her thoughts and feelings to me easier. Her vocabulary is enriching and her eyes are bright as she focuses on what profound thing is next to flow from her lips.

Lately she has been interested in watching Ava get her diaper changed. It is an interactive time for all of us. Ava, the prime target, spends her time wrestling around trying to flee from my grip while she squeals in delight that she has managed to break free of the poopy diaper. In the meantime Liv has gotten a new diaper, the bag of wipes (which she has so graciously opened and pulled apart while she strung them across the living room floor), and the butt cream. She let's me know the baby has a stinky bummy and that it is nasty. She repeats 'stinky bummy' quite a few times to make sure I know what a tragedy this is and maybe I could just clean her up a little bit faster thank you. Then she hands me the butt cream 'medicine' she calls it and together we slather it on Ava. We then make our way outside to drop off our funky mess into the trash can and come back inside to wash our hands.

When Dave comes home from work he gets the pleasure of yet another ill smelling diaper. He wrangles Ava to the floor and Olivia brings him the butt cream. Then this conversation transpired:
O: My help daddy?
D: Ok bring me a diaper and the cream.
O: Daddy lotion? Hand?
D: No Olivia. This is Ava's medicine.
O: Me medicine my bummy daddy? Finger?
D: Yes, Olivia I am putting it on with my finger.
O: My help? Finger daddy? Put my bummy daddy?
D: No Olivia, this is just for Ava's rash.

Then Ava thrashes around and grabs hold of the diaper tabs and rips off one side.

D: Oh no baby broke diapie.
O: Uh oh. Baby take off diapie daddy. (Dave goes for a new diaper)
O: BABY TAKE OFF DIAPIE!!! BABY TAKE OFF DIAPIE DADDY!! (Ava takes off running naked).

It's amazing to watch something so ordinary to me become so fascinating to Olivia and now she can talk to me and Dave and tell us that she's hungry, tired, happy, wants to nuggie (snuggle in bed), wants to go outside to the park in her waygon (wagon), or she simply wants me to read her a few stories. Sometimes I do think she never stops talking. Ok a lot of times I think man can she still be talking, isn't her throat sore yet? I guess not. It has helped me to stop watching daytime TV (because I can't hear it) and helped me to be more motivated for craft projects, cooking eggs, toast, and muffins with her, planting a garden in the backyard, and just enjoying stuff that I once overlooked because I was hooked on the box. Everyday we talk about colors and I associate a color to an object. I know she knows what most colors are but she refuses to tell me the correct colors. Now if I ask her to find me letters, she will point them out or use the refrigerator magnets to show the appropriate one. She also knows all of her body parts, the alphabet song, can count to 15, loves planes and helicopters, can identify numerous animals, and can carry on a few sentences in conversation.
We take a trip to the park usually every morning to swing and slide and when we are through we take a side street to visit the neighbors cows. We stand outside the gate and moo at them for a few minutes and then head back for a snack.
I noticed recently she understands her cartoons now. At the end of one of her favorites she chants the song, "We did it... we did it... hooray" Now when she poops she yells, "Look mommy I did it I did it Yea!!" We clap and Ava comes by to see all of the excitement so she begins to clap. It's a great family event.

You're probably wondering right now why I haven't talked about all of Ava's achievements and it's really very simple. I just started writing this blog and have so much back history to put down just to get up to date so I began with Liv because she's the first born. I have so much good stuff to write about Ava too. She my little Ava cakes or as Dave calls her his 'avacakearoonies'. So look forward to reading about her expeditions soon.

For those working mothers...

So a few days ago Dave, my husband, acquired free tickets to a Giants/Cubs game. We called the sitter, made arrangements, and last night everything was set. The sitter showed up, I kissed the girls, told them I'd be seeing them after they were asleep, and to be really good so tomorrow we could cook eggs together. Olivia is becoming quite the cook. I then jumped in the car and rode BART to Oakland to meet Dave and together we rode to the stadium. Once we were there I started thinking about the girls being at home and all the possibilities of things that could happen. It made me nervous but I knew that all my neighbors were home, my sitter's boyfriend's mom was across the street and everything would be fine. I can't imagine how working mothers go to daycare everyday, kiss their kids, and drive away. Maybe after a few hundred times you get used to it, but for me it is very hard since I don't leave them every day. So the few times I have a date night with my husband I feel like I need to web cam my kids. Boy would they grow up paranoid if I actually did that. Anyway on the way home I called the sitter-everything was fine of course- except that Olivia refused to call her by her name. She would only refer to her as her boyfriend's sister's name whom Olivia clearly knew she wasn't. The girls both cried a little while going to be expected, but then clincher was when the babysitter told me that all Olivia needed to go to sleep was a big kiss from her mommy. That melted my heart and made my night.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Toes...the new fingers- who knew

Ok so I thought I'd try to keep this blog as anonymous as I could but then I really couldn't talk about my girls in a way that would highlight their unique and lovely characteristics. So my oldest is Olivia who is 2 and a half and my youngest is Ava who is 17 months. So today's snippet is really all about Ava. After meal times I typically wash her hands and then her face with a washcloth and then I remove her tray from the highchair. So for the past few days she's lifted her feet and wanted me to wash her feet as well. Yeah, sorta like Jesus. So like a fool I obliged and now she has created a habit of taking her dirty hands and smearing her food on her feet while she laughs in delight. Thus making me clean them too. So I thought I'll stop this habit today. I'll just put socks on her little feet and there vanishes the problem... Meanwhile Ava had other plans. So later today I will be bleaching socks that are now covered in mac-n-cheese. This is just one of the many fine habits my sweet little girls have developed.

It really started when Olivia was about six month old. First it was the daily barfing in her crib at nap time. That was a wonderful experience that no mother should have to endure. Apparently when she laid down for a nap it became the opportune time to put her hands in her mouth and feel around until she gagged and puked. That lasted a good six months or as I like to think of it as my first and second trimesters of being pregnant with Ava. Morning sickness never feel good as getting the whiff of fresh puke off your totally unnapped baby. After the puke phase came the 'let's eat wood' phase where she practically ate her crib. I'd take her to the doctor and ask for advice. Apparently what they learn in Med school is to repeat the phrase, "she'll grow out of it" which she did a full year later plus one super cool crib tent. Yeah that is hard to explain to visitors, babysitters, and the like that yes my daughter does sleep in a tent. But it gets better when she decides that she no longer wants to sleep in clothing and every time she pooped she ripped her diaper off. The first time it happened I walked into her room after a nap and thought to myself, 'that's funny..I don't remember giving her a brownie...where'd she get that that crap on your face?' Then again the whiff of now fresh crap permeates my nasal cavity to remain lodged there for yet another few months. I tried everything from duct taping the diaper on, to potty training her to poop before her nap which was truely hit or miss, to putting a button on her jammies to keep the zipper up which she'd eventually chew off, to just sucking it up and dealing with the crap at the end of the naps. Then a genius, my mother-in-law, called with a plan- and hold on to your pants because this has solved the problem from the very first minute. She said to go buy a footed jammies one size too big and put in on backwards and turn the feet around. Yes, it works. And now everyday before nap Olivia asks for her 'meemees' and loves them. She's potty trained now but still wears her backwards meemees. She is out of her tent and sleeping in a regular big girl bed but does still love to put everything in her mouth. She is an avid thumbsucker and book eater. For everything she put me through I feel we both have come out ok and on top. I've learned patience and understanding and to really think outside the box. As for Ava, she's an avid thumbsucking lovey lover too but she is not orally fixated on anything else and she keeps her clothes on and sleeps without a tent. I'm ready for whatever she has to throw at me. So far she's been a really easy baby. I've started potty training her as well. She loves to sit and clap, but so far not a drop in the bowl. Here's to hoping...